Crime & Courts

Man dies in trench collapse

Officials say one man has died after a trench collapsed in Alexander County.

Sheriff's deputies told local reporters the trench collapsed around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday on private property in Hiddenite.

Deputies said the man had been doing mining work when the 25-foot hole collapsed.

The victim was 56-year-old Terry Lee Ledford of Spruce Pine. His body was found around 8:30 p.m.

Officials say they're not sure what prompted the collapse.

Ledford was known for discovering the “Carolina Emperor,” a record emerald, in 2009, reports WBTV, a media partner of the Observer.

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